Knights of Labor Essay

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The Knights of Labor represented the pinnacle of the up lift labor movement. They, at one time, had membership that numbered in the hundreds of thousands and nearly hit a million members. This organization was unique in its time because it espoused many of the ideals we hold today as statutory for an ethical and equitable society as well as employee employer relationship. The Knights of Labor did not begrudge industry or the capitalism, more over they were less of a concern than the organizations larger goal to protect and promote social equity, in labor and society, for the common man. The organization was distinctive for is time. There were other labor unions, but the Knights supported trade craftsmen, common laborers, and worked…show more content…
Today, many of these basic concepts are taken as common practice in the workplace while others still are challenges facing the employees of today. Child Labor laws were enacted within the 50 years following the knights. Fighting speculation and outlawing monopolistic practices was addressed through the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The 8-hour workday and overtime was addressed under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Additionally, the arbitration of disputes between labor and management, advocated by the Knights, has become a cornerstone of conflict resolution for labor relations. The Knights however, viewed these gains as the end to a means. These gains would be brought about through raising the working class by raising the intellectual, moral, and social life of the worker (Budd, 2010). The transition to a collective behavior is at the root of uplift unionism, and is the cornerstone of the Knights larger agenda. This concept enjoined the ideals of a fraternal brotherhood and gave the organization an advantage in the ability to relate to the society of laborers who felt oppressed at the hands of capitalists. It brought, to those who joined, a sense of something more that just a loose association of workers
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